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date: 08 April 2020

Jarrell, Randalllocked

(06 May 1914–14 October 1965)
  • Claudia Milstead


Jarrell, Randall (06 May 1914–14 October 1965), poet and critic, was born in Nashville, Tennessee, the son of Owen Jarrell and Anna Campbell. Owen’s working-class family was from Shelbyville, Tennessee; Anna Jarrell came from a prosperous Nashville business family. During the first year or so of Jarrell’s life, the family moved several times. In 1915 they settled on a 45-acre farm outside Los Angeles, not far from Owen Jarrell’s parents and grandmother. Jarrell’s father and mother separated, and she returned to Nashville with Jarrell and his younger brother. It was during this time that Jarrell served as a model for Ganymede in the bas-relief sculpture on Nashville’s replica of the Parthenon. According to an often cited story, the sculptors were so taken with young Jarrell, who entertained them with stories of mythology, that they told his mother they would like to adopt him. Jarrell’s mother did not tell him of the offer, for fear that he would want to go with the sculptors. When Jarrell finally heard of the story much later, he answered, “She was right. I’d have gone with them like ...

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